Following the appointment of Nigel Pearson as Derby County’s new manager, many supporters have already begun to speculate potential incomings and outgoings as an interesting summer awaits.
The Rams currently boast one of the biggest squads in the Championship, and after splashing out on some £25 million worth of players this past season, there doesn’t appear to be too much room to manoeuvre.
With Leicester City duo Ritchie de Laet and Matty James among those tipped by supporters to be among Pearson’s potential summer targets, surely they must be subsidised with one or two leaving.
Moreover, Pearson is renowned for playing a variation of 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, while Derby’s squad has been built around 4-3-3 for the past three seasons, throwing up yet more questions regarding the futures of one or two.
Here are three players who Pearson may find surplus to requirements and look to sell:
Derby’s record signing arrived at the club from Norwich City only last summer, yet he enjoyed a mixed debut season at the iPro and is many feel he just doesn’t fit in with the team’s style of play.
Considering he has Will Hughes, Craig Bryson, Jeff Hendrick, George Thorne and Jacob Butterfield for midfield company, Johnson may struggle for games if he sticks around this coming season.
Another arrival this past season, and another who just doesn’t fit in with the club’s ethos or style of play.
Blackman excelled in a wide forward role for Reading prior to joining Derby, yet his move turned out to be a disaster for all parties involved as he made little impact in the few games he managed.
With Tom Ince, Johnny Russell, Andreas Weimann, Chris Martin and Darren Bent all ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s difficult to see him featuring much under Pearson.
Another recruit last summer, and another who struggled to make any sort of impact at the club.
Pearce spent the second half of this past season on loan at Bristol City, and he will likely be farmed out again on loan next season if the club can’t manage to sell him on this summer.
The former Reading man arrived as competition for Richard Keogh and Jason Shackell, but he simply couldn’t break in to the first-team and soon found himself surplus to requirements.
Other names Pearson may consider moving on who rarely feature: Ryan Shotton, Lee Grant, Darren Bent, Chris Baird, Abdoul Camara and Raul Albentosa.